Back to Work: True Stories & Helpful Tips

Back to Work: True Stories & Helpful Tips

July 27, 2022 Women

“I knew it would be hard to leave Nicole, but feeling guilty about going back to work made my decision to continue breastfeeding easier. Learning how to pump and how to establish my milk supply wasn’t as hard as I thought. My WIC peer counselor was very helpful and reminded me to keep nursing to give Nicole the best start possible.”
– Jordan, WIC mom

Breastfeeding provides a special bond between mother and baby. This is especially true for moms who can’t always be with their baby. Not only is breastfeeding possible, many working parents find it easier than bottle-feeding.

Here are some helpful tips to make your return to work (or school) easier:

WHILE YOU ARE PREGNANT:

With Your Baby At Home:

Back at Work:

Pumping Tips:

How to Store Human Milk:

“I went back to work when Maddox was only six weeks old. I thought I’d have to switch to formula, but then WIC helped me find an electric pump to use — so I figured I could give it a try. I’m so glad I did! It really isn’t hard and at the end of the day, nursing is how I “de-stress” and reconnect with Maddox.”

– Karlee, WIC mom

When you choose to stick with breastfeeding, you’re helping your baby in two ways — supporting them by working or going back to school and giving them the best nutrition that money can’t buy!

Storage Guidelines for Human Milk

STORAGE LOCATIONS AND TEMPERATURES
TYPE OF HUMAN MILK Countertop
77oF (25oC) or colder

(room temperature)
Refrigerator
40oF (4oC)
Freezer
0oF (-18oC) or colder
Freshly Expressed or Pumped Up to 4 Hours Up to 4 Days Within 6 months is best.
Up to 12 months is
acceptable.
Thawed, Previously Frozen 1-2 Hours Up to 1 Day
(24 hours)
NEVER refreeze human milk after it has been thawed.
Leftover from a Feeding
(baby did not finish the bottle)
Use within 2 Hours after baby is finished feeding.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

For more information:
www.LLLI.org (La Leche League), www.workandpump.com or www.kellymom.com

Side-Lying

Side-Lying Hold

  1. For the right breast, lie on your right side with your baby facing you.
  2. Pull your baby close. Your baby’s mouth should be level with your nipple.
  3. In this position, you can cradle your baby’s back with your left arm and support yourself with your right arm and/or pillows.
  4. Keep loose clothing and bedding away from your baby.
  5. Reverse for the left breast.

This hold is useful when:

cross-cradle

Cross-Cradle Hold

  1. For the right breast, use your left arm to hold your baby’s head at your right breast and baby’s body toward your left side. A pillow across your lap can help support your left arm.
  2. Gently place your left hand behind your baby’s ears and neck, with your thumb and index finger behind each ear and your palm between baby’s shoulder blades. Turn your baby’s body toward yours so your tummies are touching.
  3. Hold your breast as if you are squeezing a sandwich. To protect your back, avoid leaning down to your baby. Instead, bring your baby to you.
  4. As your baby’s mouth opens, push gently with your left palm on baby’s head to help them latch on. Make sure you keep your fingers out of the way.
  5. Reverse for the left breast.

This hold is useful when:

Football

Clutch or “Football” Hold

  1. For the right breast, hold your baby level, facing up, at your right side.
  2. Put your baby’s head near your right nipple and support their back and legs under your right arm.
  3. Hold the base of your baby’s head with your right palm. A pillow underneath your right arm can help support your baby’s weight.
  4. To protect your back, avoid leaning down to your baby. Bring baby to you instead.
  5. Reverse for the left breast.

This hold is useful when:

CRADLE hold

Cradle Hold

  1. For the right breast, cradle your baby with your right arm. Your baby will be on their left side across your lap, facing you at nipple level.
  2. Your baby’s head will rest on your right forearm with your baby’s back along your inner arm and palm.
  3. Turn your baby’s tummy toward your tummy. Your left hand is free to support your breast, if needed. Pillows can help support your arm and elbow.
  4. To protect your back, avoid leaning down to your baby. Instead, bring your baby to you.
  5. Reverse for the left breast.

This hold is useful when:

laid-back

Laid-Back Hold

  1. Lean back on a pillow with your baby’s tummy touching yours and their head at breast level. Some moms find that sitting up nearly straight works well. Others prefer to lean back and lie almost flat.
  2. You can place your baby’s cheek near your breast, or you may want to use one hand to hold your breast near your baby. It’s up to you and what you think feels best.
  3. Your baby will naturally find your nipple, latch, and begin to suckle.

This hold is useful when: